Rome Will Burn
ROME WILL BURN
Rome Will Burn’s first fire was started in 2010 when Suede attended one of Manifesto’s shows in Washington DC. “I had never seen anything like it,” she remembers. About a year later, she got into electronic music. “I wanted to make fun electro-pop music, but didn’t want to have to sacrifice complexity of musical composition to do that,” Suede says. Manifesto was her first call.
Late at night, she drove to Manifesto’s apartment to play him some demos, and they soon discovered just how much they complemented each other as artists. The two immersed themselves in writing and production, and collaborations with several production teams; with their musical integrity as a base, they focused on songs with broad appeal about the things that make you want to dance. New age romance. Love-lust. Often their songs cleverly combine the subjects of love and music to great effect, as in Live By The Beat’s dance floor romance, “Want to feel the pounding of your beating heart / that’s how you found me / we were dancing in the dark,” or Body Language’s plea, “You don’t need to tell me / what you feel / words are absurd, your body / makes it real.”
It wasn’t long before Suede introduced the idea for Rome Will Burn to her key collaborator and producer… her father. Mr. Campbell saw their potential and wanted to see them play some shows. They went into intensive writing and rehearsal mode, perfecting not only their unique sound, but also working tirelessly with choreographer Tony Michaels on their live performance style. Having worked with successful artists including Beyoncé, NSYNC, and Jennifer Lopez, Michaels calls Rome Will Burn “one of the most innovative, mystical duos I’ve ever worked with. The talent they embody is endless.”
Campbell confidently states, “Rome Will Burn will build a loyal following from a diverse fan base. I’ve seen audiences of varying age groups and tastes – teens, young adults, 30s-50s – get drawn in by the band’s on-stage chemistry, strong melodies, hooks and electronic production. They connect on all the levels – musical, rhythmic, stage moves and command of a crowd.”
“It’s time to bring music back to music,” Manifesto says, deeply passionate about Rome Will Burn’s priority of keeping musicianship in focus over “smoke, mirrors, and auto-tune.” It’s also time for the duo to take their next step.“We’ve both put in the 10,000 hrs+ on our craft and came into each other’s lives at the exact right time,” Manifesto says. “See, written in the stars!” laughs Suede. “I honestly couldn’t ask for more,” she adds. “Now we’re just excited to finish getting our team together and get our music out to the world!”
Manifesto began learning violin starting with the Suzuki Method at the age of 5. Through middle and high school, he studied both classical music and traditional Irish violin, which is how he developed his signature gypsy style that attendees of his shows today call “an all-encompassing seduction of your senses.”
Manifesto recounts how he began DJing at the ripe old age of 11. “A bus driver told me he was a DJ, and trying to look cool, I told him I was too.” A week later, the driver was DJing a teen party and had a family emergency. With tears in his eyes, he begged Manifesto to take over, telling the eleven-year-old, “You’re the only one in the room that knows how to DJ.” Manifesto continued DJing and has never had another job since. “I like to say DJing chose me.”
Fast forward to Manifesto’s career blowing up, selling out venues both nationwide and around the world, in as varied places as Russia, Italy, Ireland and Japan. He has played over 1,500 live shows and as Philadelphia News wrote, “has quickly become known for his ability to combine his European influences and American tastes with his unique violin craft.”
Like Manifesto, Suede nursed a love for classical music quite young, listening to Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Bach while skating. It didn’t hurt that her father, renowned composer David Campbell, had his studio right below her childhood bedroom. “Because I had to go to bed early to get up at 5am, I would fall asleep to his composing,” Suede remembers. Her floorboard lullabies included orchestral parts for the Goo Goo Doll’s Iris, Alanis Morissette’s Uninvited, and Green Day’s Time of Your Life (Good Riddance).
The path to self-discovery was less clear for her. “I jumped around from thing to thing,” she says. Part of it was due to the severity of her skating routine, which left her without much freedom; another part was the shadow cast by a superstar brother. “I was typically ‘Beck’s little sister.’ I had to fight just to stand out as myself.” In her high school years, Suede finally found her own voice. She taught herself guitar and began wracking up a series of impressive musical accomplishments as an independent singer-songwriter, performing at SXSW and Sundance.